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XSX and VRR: Raised black levels, what can be done?

Stafford

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May 6, 2019
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I've been playing The Forgotten City a lot lately and I have been noticing weird white glitches on the sides of the screen, have this issue with Borderlands 3 and Biomutant too. Only occurs during indoor sections.

Anyway, so to check if VRR was the culprit I decided to disable it, it wasn't the cause of the issue. But what I did notice in the game is how it raises black levels significantly. Areas that are deep,inky black with VRR off are dark grey with VRR on. This explains why I often found black levels too grey in SDR games.

This absolutely sucks because VRR has proven to really benefit some games on Xbox but these raised black levels are not good at all though. I have not tried HDR games though, however a week or so while playing Psychonauts 2 I didn't notice any of it.

I have a Xbox Series X and a C9 OLED. Is there anything I can do about this? I Googled it and it seems LG never truly managed to fix it for C9,so is this issue all gone on more recent sets?
 
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ParaSeoul

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Idk if the C1 has it fixed but its using the same type of panel and not the new evo panel so maybe since it seems to be an inherent OLED issue.
 
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Stafford

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Idk if the C1 has it fixed but its using the same type of panel and not the new evo panel so maybe since it seems to be an inherent OLED issue.

Goddamn. That fucking sucks!

I guess "solutions" could be to change in-game brightness, although not every game even offers one, or the TV brightness.

By the way, I tested Biomutant just now with HDR on and VRR off, I was inside a building, but I did not notice any difference when I enabled VRR. Seems to only affect SDR games, thank fuck if that's so.
 

DenchDeckard

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The only issue I have ever had with VRR or G SYnc on the LG is on loading screens you will see the brightness flash issue, due to how dark OLEDS go and the 120Hz refresh clip. Once playing games there is absolutely no issue and I wouldnt lose the feature for anything. Its dope.

Yes, I can spot in when the FPS is dropping to like 2 to 15 FPS on loading screens but its not apparent in game play for me.
 

Stafford

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Did some more testing.

Both HDR and SDR games are affected. But it seems it varies per game. For Control it's a small difference, one I can live with. Back 4 Blood I don't notice much of a difference with SDR (I don't like HDR much in the game).

It shouldn't affect it at all, but here we are.

It's gonna be a pain to have to enable/disable on a game by game basis. Gonna try to see if lowering game or TV brightness will get to where I want it.
 
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Shmunter

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Aug 25, 2018
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Unless the set can vary overdrive parameters realtime to match refresh to the actual panel hardware, freesync VRR will suck. Currently panels are tuned to the usual 24/50/60/120. Anything in between is not catered to and things fall apart, colors, gamma, black levels, inverse ghosting all can go out of whack.

Apparently this is what you pay for with gsync being more flexible in the way it drives panels. Not “gysync compatible” mind you, needs to be the full fat licensed solution.
 
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elliot5

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If you get lifted blacks using vrr you might as well be using black frame insertion as well which also will raise black levels I think, but gives near CRT like response time of I understood digital foundry correctly. Otherwise stick to HDR game mode without vrr
 

cormack12

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Nothing, I have the X90H and using VRR on that disables ALD which is noticeable (to me). TBH I think HDR and VRR etc. are all in a terrible place with regards to consistent results.
 

Karak

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Its noticeable however, I notice it more when switching as you were doing versus continued playing.
That aside, you are 100% correct. It needs fixed, it is noticeable, and its positives while still something to celebrate having, are brought down by this.
 

Kuranghi

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Its noticeable however, I notice it more when switching as you were doing versus continued playing.
That aside, you are 100% correct. It needs fixed, it is noticeable, and its positives while still something to celebrate having, are brought down by this.

What TV model(s) do you have?
 
Jun 1, 2021
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To be honest, everything about HDMI 2.1 implementation has been pretty hit and miss so far across so many different companies. You can buy two pieces of HDMI 2.1 hardware which are fully certified as being fully compatible and there's still no guarantee that they will do what they're supposed to do when you get them home.
Historically I've been been one of the first in with hardware pretty with significant improvements but I still feel that I'm probably a year or so away from feeling comfortable about investing in a full 2.1 setup. I'd much rather wait for everything to settle down as it makes it a lot easy to appraise how things lie and the production companies really aren't where they were expected to be at the moment.
As a gamer I've been incredibly excited about what full spec HDMI 2.1 will add to gaming but you know when so many companies that have been making wonderful AV ecquipment for what could literally be decades are struggling so consistently with the technology that it's probably a good idea to wait for them to get on top of things.
 
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Kuranghi

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To be honest, everything about HDMI 2.1 implementation has been pretty hit and miss so far across so many different companies. You can buy two pieces of HDMI 2.1 hardware which are fully certified as being fully compatible and there's still no guarantee that they will do what they're supposed to do when you get them home.
Historically I've been been one of the first in with hardware pretty with significant improvements but I still feel that I'm probably a year or so away from feeling comfortable about investing in a full 2.1 setup. I'd much rather wait for everything to settle down as it makes it a lot easy to appraise how things lie and the production companies really aren't where they were expected to be at the moment.
As a gamer I've been incredibly excited about what full spec HDMI 2.1 will add to gaming but you know when so many companies that have been making wonderful AV ecquipment for what could literally be decades are struggling so consistently with the technology that it's probably a good idea to wait for them to get on top of things.

Indeed. I have other reasons for not upgrading my TV from HDMI 2.0 to 2.1 - 2016 ZD9 and still isn't surpassed even by the 2021 QN90 in terms of dimming, shadow detail and general backlight performance - but also see no point in jumping in when the spec isn't even complete and many of the features have issues or don't work to a standard that makes them worthwhile to use:

* VRR has issues with raised blacks/broken gamma on all sets that have it - LG added something to help you alleviate it but even with professional tools and know how you cannot fully correct it and if you don't have those tools/knowhow you'll probably just make the image look worse while trying to fix it anyway.

* 4K120 support is working on some brand's models but not on other brands, even on the ones it does work only the most recent models can do 4K120 + Dolby Vision together, which is annoying if you have to change it all the time when going between 4K DV disc and games. (Unless the DV toggle on XSS/XSX is just for gaming and the media player DV support is separate from that, someone let me know please)

* eARC seems to be good most of the time but there are some issues with communication between devices and it not passing 5.1 on some brands for seemingly no reason. ARC is generally a bit iffy anyway so thats probably more inherited problems in fairness.

* ALLM is working great... except it can't distinguish between media player/apps running on the console and the actual games so you'll still have to manually change to your movie/cinema/custom picture mode when you watch a disc or stream netflix/prime/etc. Always best to use the built-in TV apps anyway for best HDR and such but its still annoying if your TV lacks a streaming app thats on the console.

* QMS (Quick Media Switching) is still MIA and would be great for PS and Xbox users alike to stop having to flicker/go to a black screen for a second or two when switching from SDR to HDR or changing resolution/refresh rate. Especially for Xbox users since the dashboard is still HDR so if you only play game that are in HDR (or use Auto-HDR) then you have to see that every time you boot a game.

There is also QFT or Quick Frame Transport but according to this forum thread its probably already part of the Freesync/G-sync implementation you'd find on modern TV sets anyway. The thread is from 2018 so not sure if its relevant anymore though:

 

Andodalf

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Its noticeable however, I notice it more when switching as you were doing versus continued playing.
That aside, you are 100% correct. It needs fixed, it is noticeable, and its positives while still something to celebrate having, are brought down by this.
This won't be fixed on current model TVs. Hopefully 2022 models are better
 

Stafford

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Its noticeable however, I notice it more when switching as you were doing versus continued playing.
That aside, you are 100% correct. It needs fixed, it is noticeable, and its positives while still something to celebrate having, are brought down by this.

Yep, especially when you switch without quitting the game. But it differs per game. On default I had gamma correction set to 1.90 because the default was just no good, I guess the devs like black levels to look dark grey, not me. And even with this setting it was still dark grey.

When I then turn VRR off it's darker, better in my opinion. But it sucks to have to constantly enable and disable it, so I'm leaving VRR on and I'll put the gamma correction of Forgotten City to 1.75.

It seems HDR games aren't nearly as badly affected though, Control just slightly elevated black levels but it's very,very passable. Leaving VRR just isn't an option when it's such a game changer when it comes to performance. We still see several games benefitting greatly from it.
 

Connxtion

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You get used to the not black black levels after a while. VRR I leave always on on my CX as no scream tearing is a god send.

Only think that still annoys me is the odd flicker when in menus, “my games and apps” does it and a lot of games with dark menus do it also.
(COD MW does it depending on the season background in the MP menu) But like others have said it’s a panel issue & LG still haven’t fixed in the C1, they just added the game optimiser that helps it a tad.
(wish that was ported back to the CX)
 

Stafford

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May 6, 2019
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You get used to the not black black levels after a while. VRR I leave always on on my CX as no scream tearing is a god send.

Only think that still annoys me is the odd flicker when in menus, “my games and apps” does it and a lot of games with dark menus do it also.
(COD MW does it depending on the season background in the MP menu) But like others have said it’s a panel issue & LG still haven’t fixed in the C1, they just added the game optimiser that helps it a tad.
(wish that was ported back to the CX)
Yeah I have that too in my games and apps. So that too is a VRR? It annoys me too, but inconsistent framerates annoy me way more. So wait, even screen tearing is gone because of VRR? Crazy. Yeah can't miss out on this feature when my TV has it.
 

Reizo Ryuu

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(Unless the DV toggle on XSS/XSX is just for gaming and the media player DV support is separate from that, someone let me know please)
DV on XSX is only for gaming and streaming (disney+), there's no blu-ray dolby vision support.
 
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reektann

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I've been playing The Forgotten City a lot lately and I have been noticing weird white glitches on the sides of the screen, have this issue with Borderlands 3 and Biomutant too. Only occurs during indoor sections.

Anyway, so to check if VRR was the culprit I decided to disable it, it wasn't the cause of the issue. But what I did notice in the game is how it raises black levels significantly. Areas that are deep,inky black with VRR off are dark grey with VRR on. This explains why I often found black levels too grey in SDR games.

This absolutely sucks because VRR has proven to really benefit some games on Xbox but these raised black levels are not good at all though. I have not tried HDR games though, however a week or so while playing Psychonauts 2 I didn't notice any of it.

I have a Xbox Series X and a C9 OLED. Is there anything I can do about this? I Googled it and it seems LG never truly managed to fix it for C9,so is this issue all gone on more recent sets?
I notice the same with the XSX - I found I just ended up notching the brightness down on the tv a few to stop it annoying me so much!
 

StateofMajora

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Aug 7, 2020
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Just don’t use it. Ruining picture quality for vrr completely negates the point if getting a nice tv. You might as well get a walmart tv.

VRR is the most overhyped gaming feature i’ve seen in the past few years. But bfi, which is a hugely important feature gets comparatively ignored, and you can’t use it with vrr.

On PC, you have nvidia fast sync and whatever the amd equivalent is. No need for hdmi 2.1 for that.
 

DenchDeckard

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Just don’t use it. Ruining picture quality for vrr completely negates the point if getting a nice tv. You might as well get a walmart tv.

VRR is the most overhyped gaming feature i’ve seen in the past few years. But bfi, which is a hugely important feature gets comparatively ignored, and you can’t use it with vrr.

On PC, you have nvidia fast sync and whatever the amd equivalent is. No need for hdmi 2.1 for that.

Absolutely tosh. VRR is hugely important and a massive feature for the future of gaming.
 

NeonGhost

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Just don’t use it. Ruining picture quality for vrr completely negates the point if getting a nice tv. You might as well get a walmart tv.

VRR is the most overhyped gaming feature i’ve seen in the past few years. But bfi, which is a hugely important feature gets comparatively ignored, and you can’t use it with vrr.

On PC, you have nvidia fast sync and whatever the amd equivalent is. No need for hdmi 2.1 for that.
Having vrr is my favorite feature this generation
 
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Kuranghi

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DV on XSX is only for gaming and streaming (disney+), there's no blu-ray dolby vision support.

Cheers, I thought I was getting confused with Dolby Atmos/DTS:X support being only on Xbox and not PS5, but thats appears to be on both so I was just being a dummy.

I can't wait for there to be (reasonably priced) andoird box that can play/stream from my PC all the different kinds of DV video tracks (Single/dual track, single/dual layer, etc) in an mkv container without any problems or transcoding

There is one player that can do all right now I think but its like a grand or some stupid shit like that. Nvidia Shield and (LG TV's in-built media player) can do most of that but its still can't do some combos of container and DV layer type and I'd rather wait until I don't even need to think about it. Hopefully the next Nvidia Shield will be able to do it.
 

StateofMajora

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Absolutely tosh. VRR is hugely important and a massive feature for the future of gaming.
Even if it works, and it doesn’t right now ; bfi is more important.

People destroying image quality on their oled for this is just stupid.

Buying for VRR support over image quality is just stupid.

 
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Kuranghi

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Even if it works, and it doesn’t right now ; bfi is more important.

People destroying image quality on their oled for this is just stupid.

Buying for VRR support over image quality is just stupid.


You saying that gives me flashbacks to people buying an edge-lit, 500-nit 65" Samsung Frame for £1600 when they could've bought a super high end LCD and installed a slideshow app on it that has more features than the Ambient Mode on the Samsung:

zlatan GIF
laugh cry GIF


You could even pay a joiner like £150 to make a "frame" for the TV you buy. No one connect box but who gives a fuck, just chase and raggle you stupid bastard :messenger_tears_of_joy:
 
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StateofMajora

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You saying that gives me flashbacks to people buying an edge-lit, 500-nit 65" Samsung Frame for £1600 when they could've bought a super high end LCD and installed a slideshow app on it that has more features than the Ambient Mode on the Samsung:

zlatan GIF
laugh cry GIF


You could even pay a joiner like £150 to make a "frame" for the TV you buy. No one connect box but who gives a fuck, just chase and raggle you stupid bastard :messenger_tears_of_joy:
Quantum tv dood was talking about the frame like it was this super underrated tv and I was just like… Is this how bad the lcd market has gotten xD
Yes.

If it was a lot cheaper, it would be a better option than other edge lit sets, it’s got super good input lag and is VA but i’d not pay much over 500 for it.

My parents bought a 65 x85J, which is apparently just an edge lit x900h, so I get to test that out soon.
 
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DenchDeckard

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Even if it works, and it doesn’t right now ; bfi is more important.

People destroying image quality on their oled for this is just stupid.

Buying for VRR support over image quality is just stupid.


have you got footage of how the lg CX and c1 are destroying image quality?